‘Couldn’t have been placed in better hands’

When a cardiac arrest knocked Mark Erickson off his bike, the perfect passerby saved his life.

‘Couldn’t have been placed in better hands’

Ask Mark Erickson to recount what happened to him on the afternoon of July 31, 2020, and he’ll shake his head in near disbelief—even now, more than a year later.

That’s the day Erickson came face to face with his mortality.

He lived to tell the story because the health care system worked, from end to end. And because the right person came by at the right time with the right response.

‘He wasn’t breathing’

That sunny Friday, Erickson, 54, a mortgage underwriter, and his daughter Kayla, 20, a university student, did what they often do at the end of a workday: get outside.

Residents of Comstock Park, Michigan, the two like to hop on the nearby White Pine Trail to go walking, biking or inline skating.

“That’s where we go—‘Hey, let’s go hit the trail.’ ‘OK,’ boom. And off we go,” Erickson said.

This time they grabbed their bikes and headed north toward Rockford.

Seven miles into their ride, where the trail crosses Childsdale Avenue, Erickson blacked out and crashed to the ground, lifeless.

Kayla, cycling ahead of him, sensed his absence. She stopped, saw him lying on the path and tore back, terrified.

A couple driving north on Childsdale happened to see Erickson fall. They pulled over to call 911.

Coming upon the scene a half-minute later, Tyler Nickels followed suit and jumped out of his car.

“My first reaction to seeing him—he was pale gray, basically no color in his face,” Nickels said. “I could tell just the second I got out of the car he wasn’t breathing.”

Nickels, a Spectrum Health clinical data analyst, had an ace up his sleeve. For four years, until just eight months earlier, he’d worked as a nurse in the Spectrum Health Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center.

He knew what to do for Erickson.

Checking for a pulse and not finding one, he started chest compressions.

When he couldn’t get Erickson breathing after nearly a minute of hands-only CPR, Nickels wanted to supplement chest compressions with rescue breaths.

But this was the summer of 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic—not a good time for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

“If it wasn’t for COVID, I probably would have done it myself, but without knowing him and just being a stranger, I asked if there was a family member that could do some breaths.”

Though her father’s collapse had left her frantic and distraught, Kayla stepped up to help.

The two worked together until first responders arrived—first a Rockford police officer, then crews from the Plainfield Township Fire Department, Kent County Sheriff’s Office and Rockford Ambulance.

Stepping back, Nickels had doubts about Erickson’s chance of survival; he didn’t seem to be coming around. But as concerned as he was about the man’s future, he worried even more about how this event would affect Kayla.

Eventually, unable to do more, Nickels and his wife continued on to a brewery around the bend, where they were meeting friends.

There they ran into the couple from the first car, the 911 callers. They’d gotten Kayla’s phone number and agreed to let Nickels know what they learned about Erickson’s status.

Cardiac arrest

Nickels later learned that the paramedics successfully revived Erickson and rushed him to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, where he underwent a series of tests.

According to Araya Negash, DO, the cardiologist on call when Erickson arrived in the trauma bay, EKG testing didn’t show evidence of an acute heart attack. Erickson therefore didn’t need an emergency heart procedure.

Tests did show bleeding in his brain, likely related to his fall. Erickson received sedation medications and was moved to the ICU for close monitoring and evaluation by the neurosurgery team.

As doctors dialed back his sedation medications, Erickson began to recover.

Further testing showed him to be neurologically intact, Dr. Negash said, and stable enough to undergo heart catheterization to explore the cause of his collapse.

Dr. Negash threaded a catheter through a thin tube inserted in an artery and took pictures of the arteries around Erickson’s heart. The images showed severe coronary artery disease—blockages in several vessels, including the left main coronary artery.

Though Erickson hadn’t experienced heart disease symptoms, these blockages had triggered an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, which led to sudden cardiac arrest.

“A cardiac arrest at its core is an electrical issue, so your heart goes into an arrhythmia that oftentimes is fatal,” Dr. Negash said.

“In this case, it was a blocked artery issue that sparked an electrical issue—ventricular fibrillation.”

Because of the number and location of the blockages, Dr. Negash decided against stenting and called in the cardiothoracic surgery team.

Their evaluation led to a four-vessel bypass surgery, performed by Stephane Leung, MD.

To reduce the risk of a repeat cardiac arrest, Erickson also underwent surgery with Michael Brunner, MD, an electrophysiologist, who placed an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator below his collarbone. The defibrillator will deliver a lifesaving shock if Erickson develops another lethally fast heart rate.

Perfect timing

During his recovery, Erickson received a visit one day from a nurse who had heard Nickels’ story about the White Pine Trail rescue. In talking with a colleague, she’d matched Erickson to the story.

This nurse was Nickels’ mother-in-law, a longtime staff member at Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center.

“So she walked into his room one day and said, ‘Hey, you may not know me, but I know you,’” Nickels said. “‘My son-in-law actually was the one that did compressions when you collapsed on the bike trail.’”

Eager to express his gratitude, Erickson asked for Nickels’ phone number. The two men have been in communication ever since—initially by text, then by phone and more recently in person.

“The whole thing just makes my head spin—just thinking about all the things that fell into place perfectly and how the Good Lord put everyone in my life like that,” Erickson said.

He still chokes up thinking about the way events unfolded that day.

“(Tyler) was everything to me, he really was. CPR doesn’t start up, and I’m not here, honestly. … As I told him, ‘You had to be the perfect person in the perfect spot at the perfect time for me to be here.’”

Kayla’s role in his rescue also sparks powerful emotions.

“She stepped up and was a true hero,” he said. “I just can’t imagine putting my child through that. But she did it. … She’s just been amazing through the whole thing.”

Erickson’s ability to work through his emotions has contributed to his strong recovery.

“He’s processed this whole event in a very healthy way,” Dr. Negash said. “He’s really kind of taken to the emotional part of getting better a lot faster than most of my patients—men and women.”

Erickson’s physical recovery has taken a fast track, too.

“When he walked in the clinic the first time I saw him back, I was expecting a very different person. If you saw him in the waiting room, you would assume that he was driving somebody else to their appointment. … I didn’t expect him to come in bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, with no real complaints.”

Erickson tells a similar story. His physical therapists had to develop a custom training regimen to keep him challenged.

And throughout his 23-day hospital stay, staff regularly told him his appearance didn’t match the things reported in his medical chart.

“I’m like, ‘I don’t know what that means. … Everyone keeps coming in and saying I don’t look like my chart. Is this good or bad?’ And they looked at me and they go, ‘Oh, it’s good.’”

His story, Erickson said, is a tale of perfect timing, of selfless heroes, of faithful family members and of “phenomenal” medical staff, all along the way.

“I couldn’t have been placed in better hands.”

Source : Health Beat More   

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The Covidian Cult – There’s Reality, and There’s “Reality”

In The Covidian Cult (Part I) and (Part II) I characterized the so-called "New Normal" as a "global totalitarian ideological movement." Since I published those essays, more and more people have come to see it for what it is, not "insanity" or "an overreaction," but, in fact, a new form of totalitarianism, a globalized, pathologized, depoliticized form, which is being systematically implemented under the guise of "protecting the public health." In order to oppose this new form of totalitarianism, we need to understand how it both resembles and differs from earlier totalitarian systems. The similarities are fairly obvious — the suspension of constitutional rights, governments ruling by decree, official propaganda, public loyalty rituals, the outlawing of political opposition, censorship, social segregation, goon squads terrorizing the public, and so on — but the differences are not obvious. Whereas 20th-Century totalitarianism (i.e., the form most people are generally familiar with) was more or less national and overtly political, New Normal totalitarianism is supranational, and its ideology is much more subtle. The New Normal is not Nazism or Stalinism. It is global-capitalist totalitarianism, and global capitalism doesn't have an ideology, technically, or, rather, its ideology is "reality." When you are an unrivaled global ideological hegemon, as global capitalism has been for the last 30 years or so, your ideology automatically becomes "reality," because there are no competing ideologies. Actually, there is no ideology at all … there is only "reality" and "unreality," "normality" and "deviations from the norm." Yes, I know, reality is reality … that's why I'm putting all these terms in scare quotes, so, please, spare me the lengthy emails conclusively proving the reality of reality and try to understand how this works. There is reality (whatever you believe it is), and there is "reality," which dictates how our societies function. "Reality" is constructed (i.e., simulated), collectively, according to the ideology of whatever system controls society. In the past, "reality" was openly ideological, regardless of which "reality" you lived in, because there were other competing "realities" out there. There aren't anymore. There is only the one "reality," because the entire planet — yes, including China, Russia, North Korea, and wherever — is controlled by one globally hegemonic system. A globally hegemonic system has no need for ideology, because it doesn't have to compete with rival ideologies. So it erases ideology and replaces it with "reality." Reality (whatever you personally believe it is, which of course is what it really is) is not actually erased. It just doesn't matter, because you do not get to dictate "reality." Global capitalism gets to dictate "reality," or, more accurately, it simulates "reality," and in so doing simulates the opposite of "reality," which is equally if not more important. This global-capitalist-manufactured "reality" is a depoliticized, ahistorical "reality," which forms an invisible ideological boundary establishing the limits of what is "real." In this way, global capitalism (a) conceals its ideological nature, and (b) renders any and all ideological opposition automatically illegitimate, or, more accurately, non-existent. Ideology as we knew it disappears. Political, ethical, and moral arguments are reduced to the question of what is "real" or "factual," which the GloboCap "experts" and "fact checkers" dictate. Also, because this "reality" is not a cohesive ideological system with fundamental values, core principles, and so on, it can be drastically revised or completely replaced more or less at a moment's notice. Global capitalism has no fundamental values — other than exchange value, of course — and thus it is free to manufacture any kind of "reality" it wants, and replace one "reality" with a new "reality" any time that serves its purposes, like stagehands changing a theatrical set. For example, the "Global War on Terror," which was the official "reality" from 2001 until it was canceled in the Summer of 2016, when the "War on Populism" was officially launched. Or, now, the "New Normal," which replaced the "War on Populism" in the Spring of 2020. Each of which new simulations of "reality" was rolled out abruptly, clumsily even, like that scene in 1984 where the Party switches official enemies right in the middle of a Hate Week speech. Seriously, think about where we are currently, 18 months into our new "reality," then go back and review how GloboCap blatantly rolled out the New Normal in the Spring of 2020 … and the majority of the masses didn't even blink. They seamlessly transitioned to the new "reality" in which a virus, rather than "white supremacists," or "Russian agents," or "Islamic terrorists," had become the new official enemy. They put away the scripts they had been reciting verbatim from for the previous f

The Covidian Cult – There’s Reality, and There’s “Reality”

In The Covidian Cult (Part I) and (Part II) I characterized the so-called "New Normal" as a "global totalitarian ideological movement." Since I published those essays, more and more people have come to see it for what it is, not "insanity" or "an overreaction," but, in fact, a new form of totalitarianism, a globalized, pathologized, depoliticized form, which is being systematically implemented under the guise of "protecting the public health."

In order to oppose this new form of totalitarianism, we need to understand how it both resembles and differs from earlier totalitarian systems. The similarities are fairly obvious — the suspension of constitutional rights, governments ruling by decree, official propaganda, public loyalty rituals, the outlawing of political opposition, censorship, social segregation, goon squads terrorizing the public, and so on — but the differences are not obvious.

Whereas 20th-Century totalitarianism (i.e., the form most people are generally familiar with) was more or less national and overtly political, New Normal totalitarianism is supranational, and its ideology is much more subtle. The New Normal is not Nazism or Stalinism. It is global-capitalist totalitarianism, and global capitalism doesn't have an ideology, technically, or, rather, its ideology is "reality."

When you are an unrivaled global ideological hegemon, as global capitalism has been for the last 30 years or so, your ideology automatically becomes "reality," because there are no competing ideologies. Actually, there is no ideology at all … there is only "reality" and "unreality," "normality" and "deviations from the norm."

Yes, I know, reality is reality … that's why I'm putting all these terms in scare quotes, so, please, spare me the lengthy emails conclusively proving the reality of reality and try to understand how this works.

There is reality (whatever you believe it is), and there is "reality," which dictates how our societies function. "Reality" is constructed (i.e., simulated), collectively, according to the ideology of whatever system controls society.

In the past, "reality" was openly ideological, regardless of which "reality" you lived in, because there were other competing "realities" out there. There aren't anymore. There is only the one "reality," because the entire planet — yes, including China, Russia, North Korea, and wherever — is controlled by one globally hegemonic system.

A globally hegemonic system has no need for ideology, because it doesn't have to compete with rival ideologies. So it erases ideology and replaces it with "reality." Reality (whatever you personally believe it is, which of course is what it really is) is not actually erased. It just doesn't matter, because you do not get to dictate "reality."

Global capitalism gets to dictate "reality," or, more accurately, it simulates "reality," and in so doing simulates the opposite of "reality," which is equally if not more important.

This global-capitalist-manufactured "reality" is a depoliticized, ahistorical "reality," which forms an invisible ideological boundary establishing the limits of what is "real." In this way, global capitalism (a) conceals its ideological nature, and (b) renders any and all ideological opposition automatically illegitimate, or, more accurately, non-existent. Ideology as we knew it disappears.

Political, ethical, and moral arguments are reduced to the question of what is "real" or "factual," which the GloboCap "experts" and "fact checkers" dictate. Also, because this "reality" is not a cohesive ideological system with fundamental values, core principles, and so on, it can be drastically revised or completely replaced more or less at a moment's notice.

Global capitalism has no fundamental values — other than exchange value, of course — and thus it is free to manufacture any kind of "reality" it wants, and replace one "reality" with a new "reality" any time that serves its purposes, like stagehands changing a theatrical set.

For example, the "Global War on Terror," which was the official "reality" from 2001 until it was canceled in the Summer of 2016, when the "War on Populism" was officially launched. Or, now, the "New Normal," which replaced the "War on Populism" in the Spring of 2020. Each of which new simulations of "reality" was rolled out abruptly, clumsily even, like that scene in 1984 where the Party switches official enemies right in the middle of a Hate Week speech.

Seriously, think about where we are currently, 18 months into our new "reality," then go back and review how GloboCap blatantly rolled out the New Normal in the Spring of 2020 … and the majority of the masses didn't even blink. They seamlessly transitioned to the new "reality" in which a virus, rather than "white supremacists," or "Russian agents," or "Islamic terrorists," had become the new official enemy.

They put away the scripts they had been reciting verbatim from for the previous four years, and the scripts they had been reciting from for the previous 15 years before that, and started frantically jabbering Covid cult-speak like they were auditioning for an over-the-top Orwell parody. Which brings us to the problem of the Covidian cult … how to get through to them, which, make no mistake, we have to do, one way or another, or the New Normal will become our permanent "reality."

I called the New Normals a "Covidian Cult," not to gratuitously insult or mock them, but because that is what totalitarianism is … a cult writ large, on a societal scale. Anyone who has tried to get through to them can confirm the accuracy of that analogy.

You can show them the facts until you're blue in the face. It will not make the slightest difference. You think you are having a debate over facts, but you are not. You are threatening their new "reality." You think you are struggling to get them to think rationally. You are not. What you are is a heretic, an agent of demonic forces, an enemy of all that is "real" and "true."

The Scientologists would label you a "suppressive person." The New Normals call you a "conspiracy theorist," an "anti-vaxxer," or a "virus denier." The specific epithets don't really matter. They are just labels that cult members and totalitarians use to demonize those they perceive as "enemies" … anyone challenging the "reality" of the cult, or the "reality" of the totalitarian system.

The simple fact of the matter is, you can't talk people out of a cult, and you can't talk them out of totalitarianism. Usually, what you do, in the case of a cult, is, you get the person out of the cult. You kidnap them, take them to a safehouse or wherever, surround them with a lot of non-cult members, and deprogram them gradually over the course of several days.

You do this because, while they are still inside the cult, you cannot get through to them. They cannot hear you. A cult is a collective, self-contained "reality." Its power flows from the social organism composed of the cult leaders and the other cult members. You cannot "talk" this power away. You have to physically remove the person from it before you can begin to reason with them.

Unfortunately, we do not have this option. The New Normal is a global totalitarian system. There is no "outside" of the system to retreat to. We can't kidnap everyone and take them to Sweden. As I noted in Part I of this series, the cult/society paradigm has been inverted. The cult has become the dominant society, and those of us who have not been converted have become a collection of isolated islands existing, not outside, but within the cult.

So we need to adopt a different strategy. We need to make the monster show itself, not to those of us who can already see it, but to the New Normal masses, the Covidian cultists. We need to make Jim Jones drop the peace-and-love crap, move into the jungle, and break out the Kool-Aid.

We need to make Charles Manson put down his guitar, cancel orgy-time, and go homicidal hippie. This is how you take down a cult from within. You do not try to thwart its progress; you push it toward its logical conclusion. You make it manifest its full expression, because that it when it implodes, and dies.

You do not do that by being polite, conciliatory, or avoiding conflict. You do that by generating as much internal conflict within the cult as you can.

In other words, we need to make GloboCap (and its minions) go openly totalitarian … because it can't. If it could, it would have done so already. Global capitalism cannot function that way. Going openly totalitarian will cause it to implode … no, not global capitalism itself, but this totalitarian version of it. In fact, this is starting to happen already.

It needs the simulation of "reality," and "democracy," and "normality," to keep the masses docile. So we need to attack that simulation. We need to hammer on it until it cracks, and the monster hiding within in appears.

That is the weakness of the system … the New Normal totalitarianism will not work if the masses perceive it as totalitarianism, as a political/ideological program, rather than as "a response to a deadly pandemic." So we need to make it visible as totalitarianism.

We need to force the New Normals to see it as what it is. I do not mean that we need to explain it to them. They are beyond the reach of explanations. I mean that we need to make them see it, feel it, tangibly, inescapably, until they recognize what they are collaborating with.

Stop arguing with them on their terms, and instead directly attack their "reality." When they start jabbering about the virus, the variants, the "vaccines," and all the other Covid cult-speak, do not get sucked into their narrative. Do not respond as if they were rational.

Respond as if they were talking about "Xenu," "body thetans," "Helter Skelter," or any other cultoid nonsense, because that it is exactly what it is. Same goes for their rules and restrictions, the "face coverings," the "social distancing," and so on.

Stop arguing against them on the grounds that they don't work. Of course they don't work, but that is not the point (and arguing that way sucks you into their "reality"). Oppose them because of what they are, a collection of bizarre compliance rituals performed to cement allegiance to the cult and create a general atmosphere of "deadly pandemic."

There are many ways to go about doing this, i.e., generating internal conflict. I have been doing it my way, others are doing it theirs. If you're one of them, thank you. If you're not, start. Do it however and wherever you can. Make the New Normals face the monster, the monster they are feeding … the monster they have become.

About the Author

C.J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing and Broadway Play Publishing, Inc. His dystopian novel, Zone 23, is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant.

Volumes I and II of his Consent Factory Essays are published by Consent Factory Publishing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amalgamated Content, Inc. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org.

Source : Mercola More   

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